Ponsonby Road Bistro ticks a good many boxes. It’s a sophisticated dining experience that manages to retain just the right level of casual. The service is always a highlight, all staff are well trained and professional and if you are lucky enough to have co-owner Melissa Morrow on the floor, you couldn’t be in better hands. The modern bistro fare is generally well executed and flavoursome, such as tender, falling-off-the-bone duck confit, rich but well balanced with a welcome tang of quince in the jus. This is a wine-focussed restaurant and that passion comes through with the choice of wines on the list. Special mention to their afternoon snacks menu – it is great to have somewhere you can get a drink and a small bite in a restaurant after 3pm.

IN BRIEF Modern bistro with stellar wine focus